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Protect Our Kids from Gambling Addiction

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Join us in the fight to protect our youth from the dangers of sports betting addiction. Sign the petition in support the SAFE Bet Act and ensure a safer future for our children.

Youth sports betting is on the rise, and the consequences are alarming. With the easy access to mobile betting apps and the widespread legalization of gambling, young people are more exposed to gambling addiction than ever before.

The SAFE Bet Act, introduced by Representative Paul Tonko, aims to address these risks and provide crucial protections for our youth.

The Rising Threat

In recent years, 37 states have launched legal betting markets, allowing sportsbooks to take in over $337 million in bets1. With betting apps available at their fingertips, young people are now more vulnerable to gambling. Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell of Massachusetts has highlighted the urgent need to raise awareness about the public health risks associated with sports betting, especially for young people. The state has launched the Youth Sports Betting Safety Coalition to educate residents aged 12 through 20 about these risks2.

The SAFE Bet Act: A Necessary Solution

The SAFE Bet Act focuses on three key areas: advertising, affordability, and artificial intelligence. It prohibits sportsbook advertising during live events and restricts the use of promotional language like "bonus" or "no sweat" bets1. This bill aims to shift the onus of responsible gambling from individuals to the sportsbooks. “Sportsbooks have relied on the responsible gaming model where the onus is placed on the gambler. We need to change that,” said Representative Tonko3.

The act limits the number of deposits a customer can make in a day and bans credit card deposits for betting. It also requires sportsbooks to conduct "affordability checks" before accepting large wagers to prevent individuals from betting beyond their means. The SAFE Bet Act also seeks to ban the use of artificial intelligence for tracking gambling habits and offering personalized promotions, which can lead to problematic gambling behaviors4.

Public Health Implications

Gambling addiction is a growing concern, especially among young people. According to data cited by Tonko, about 7 million people nationwide have a gambling problem, with 20% of these individuals attempting suicide4. These statistics underscore the need for comprehensive legislation to mitigate the public health impact of sports betting. The act also mandates a report from the Surgeon General on the public health impacts of sports betting legalization, focusing particularly on young adults. This report aims to provide insights into the extent of gambling addiction and inform future policy decisions.

State Initiatives and Youth Education

States like Massachusetts are taking proactive steps to educate young people about the risks of gambling. The Youth Sports Betting Safety Coalition includes major sports teams and aims to provide evidence-based education and training2. This coalition represents a collaborative effort to safeguard the health and well-being of young residents.

The NCAA has also launched campaigns such as "Draw the Line" to address the effects of betting on student-athletes. These initiatives aim to create a safer environment for young people who may be at risk of developing gambling addictions5.

Take Action Now

The rise in youth sports betting calls for immediate action to protect vulnerable individuals. The SAFE Bet Act represents a crucial step in regulating the industry and ensuring the safety of young gamblers. By addressing advertising practices, affordability, and the use of artificial intelligence, this legislation aims to create a safer betting environment.

Combined with state-led initiatives and educational campaigns, these efforts can help mitigate the risks associated with sports betting and safeguard the health of young people.

We need your support to make this happen. Sign the petition now to urge Congress to pass the SAFE Bet Act and protect our youth from the dangers of sports betting. Together, we can create a safer future for our children.

More on this issue:

  1. Urja Sinha, Newsnation (2 April 2024), "Democratic rep. sponsors bill to fight harmful sports betting."
  2. Justin Byers, SBC Americas (1 April 2024), "Boston pro sports teams support youth sports betting safety coalition."
  3. Jonathon Norcross, Saratoga Today (21 March 2024), "Congressman Tonko Takes Aim at Sports Betting Industry."
  4. United States Representative Mark Tonko, "SAFE Bet Act."
  5. NCAA (19 March 2024), "NCAA launches Draw the Line to address sports betting."
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The Petition:

To United States Representative Paul Tonko, We, the undersigned, express our strong support for the SAFE Bet Act. As concerned citizens, we recognize the urgent need for legislation to protect young people from the harmful impacts of sports betting.

With the proliferation of mobile sports betting apps and the widespread legalization of gambling, young individuals are increasingly targeted by gambling platforms. These platforms often use predatory practices, such as enticing advertisements and promotional bonuses, which can lead to gambling addiction among our youth. The accessibility of these apps places our young people at significant risk, making it crucial to implement robust protections.

The SAFE Bet Act aims to address these concerns by regulating sportsbook practices, limiting the use of credit card deposits, enforcing affordability checks, and banning the use of artificial intelligence to track gambling habits and offer personalized promotions. These measures are essential to ensure that the onus of responsible gambling shifts from individuals to the sportsbooks themselves.

By supporting the SAFE Bet Act, we can create a safer environment for young people, protecting them from the dangers of gambling addiction. This legislation will help ensure a healthier and more secure future for our youth, allowing them to thrive without the burden of gambling-related harm.

We urge you to continue championing this critical bill and work towards its swift passage. Together, we can safeguard the well-being of our young people and build a better future for all.


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